Fruitland Park Commission blesses plan for 700-home subdivision

Fruitland Park commissioners took the first steps Thursday night to pave the way for a new subdivision and an assisted living facility to become a part of the city.

The commission heard the first reading of an ordinance that changes the zoning on a 177-acre parcel of land off County Road 468 and Urick Street from commercial planned unit development to mixed use planned unit development. That zoning change will allow the property’s owner, Rufus Holloway and his Leesburg Fruit Company Inc., to create a neighborhood consisting of 700 single-family homes, a 220-bed assisted living facility and six acres of commercial use.

In 2015, Holloway submitted a request to have the land zoned as planned unit development so he could create a solar energy farm and continue to use the property for agriculture. It currently is being utilized as a nursery.

Holloway’s plan calls for 3.97 units per acre, with a minimum of 1,300 square feet per residence. The development is expected to become home to about 1,869 residents.

The ordinance, will come back before the commission for a second reading at a later date, also allows for churches/religious facilities, a convenience store with fuel operations, restaurants, banks, athletic/sports facilities, recreation facilities and a temporary modular office to be used during construction.

Interim agriculture uses also would be allowed, including retail or wholesale plant production, nurseries, green houses, timber, crop production, and hay and sod. Those uses would be allowed to continue until 75 percent of the land area has been developed.

Total commercial square footage isn’t allowed to exceed 48,000 square feet. And a solar farm can continue to operate on the parcel.